Life’s a Bitch!’s creator/director/writer/soul, Maria Galindo, reveals her experience as an up-and-coming artist, making things happen her own way.
Get inspired by her story, stop making excuses and get crackin’! Whether you are creating shorts, making movies or whatever your medium may be, start somewhere!
Q: Hi, Maria, thank you for allowing us to take this interview.
A: Hi, thank you for your interest and support! Us women need to stick together!
Q: Make a short introduction please, as to who “Maria Galindo” is.
A: Maria Galindo is a crazy Texan punk rocker from San Antonio who woke up one day and decided to make a film.
How did you get started into making movies?
A: I always had an interest in film, but never had money or schooling and just was being lazy about it because money has always stopped me from doing things 100%. I have always had the energy and creativity naturally but, then one day I woke up and decided to invest everything I had to get me a Mac and a good camera so I could invest in myself and not worry about a stupid school that cost 40,000 dollars or dealing with others that let you down and never follow through. If you want something you have to do it yourself! I said “I could buy a pretty good camera and all I need if I just focus”.
I was already living in Barcelona for 2 years and I knew that I was ready to settle and give 100% to begin and finish what became the biggest project I’ve done yet. I thought I could put it together in a year but due to people working for free and crazy time schedules and people coming and going, scheduling was hard. It took me 1 year to cast, 1 year to shoot and 1 year to edit. I started shooting when I had half my cast because it was so hard to find my characters and I had to begin. It was rough but now film-making to me is very easy.
I never had any schooling, not even a class for any editing programs, and still like it my way because I know how to manipulate and force things to work. I don’t care if the rules say don’t crop your clips, you will lose quality. If that is what I need to do to use that clip to complete my film I WILL! Fuck the rules, it’s art, Just Do It! If I am happy, that is all that matter and apparently people don’t complain or care to notice because they are too into the story and that is the “Key” to Great Cinema. Not “Oh, I have the best camera” No! It is the Eye and Mind Behind the Camera! And this is something school can’t teach or money can’t buy! Now film is my life and I will continue my way (and hope to not deal with any of this tech stuff). I just want to write, direct and cast my characters.
Q: What was the inspiration behind making “Life’s a Bitch?”
A: Life’s a Bitch! is a film that shows some hard living, hard-drinking, bad habits and the struggles in life due to poverty and low-income and a fucked system.
It shows a lot of what I have seen in my life growing up in USA and some life and frustrations I have seen in Barcelona from hot girls to hobos and hustlers on the streets.
There’s suffering and a twist of fucked up stories that are quite normal esp. in USA. People cheating, having kids and hurting each other, being addicted, doing drugs, stealing and being a waste of a human.
USA has so much more dramatic fucked up stories starting with Jerry fuckin’ Springer in the 90’s, when I would see his show right after school with my friends. Yeah, that was a great time to play that show so all the kids don’t miss it and think it is ok to fuck your cousin or some sick shit. I always found that show so disturbing and even as a kid I was like what the fuck, where is Tom and Jerry!? or the Ninja Turtles cartoon!? But still, I was shocked back then to see such a show. So with these things in my head and actually seeing them in real life in school etc. I made these soft Europeans portray nasty American roles. It was a challenge, but I think its pretty funny.
Q: How long did it took from idea to completion?
A: 3 years.
Q: What was surprisingly easy and what was surprisingly hard in making this movie?
A: The hardest part was getting everyone I need there for the shoots at the same time.
Also fixing up the sound myself with no experience. And subtitling a 2 hour film sucked! I had to do it because it has a lot of slang and I wanted it translated right!
Q: What type of equipment did you use in making “Life is a bitch”? What type of programs did you use for the editing?
A: Shot with a Canon xha1, 2 Rode XLR directional mics and edited with shitty Final Cut on a 2011 mac.
Q: What are your future plans for “Life’s a Bitch?”
A: After doing 18 live screenings of Life’s A Bitch in Texas, UK, BCN and NYC I am ready to release it now on the Internet and do it independently and still have screenings until I find what I am looking for to make my other movies that I have scripts for, but with massive production.
Q: What would be your advice for someone interested in getting into making movies?
A: Just do it. Fuck the rules and don’t wait or depend on anyone. Stop talking, stop thinking in circles and just start! It will form.
Q: What was your greatest personal accomplishment to date in this whole process and what are your future aspirations?
A: This film was my greatest accomplishment yet. I made this film and refused a lot of technical help because I knew that people did not understand how much of a process this was going to be and how much time (even a year straight of work) that they would have to commit to.
Like “oh, yeah!” this actor says he can get me a sound guy. OK, but hey, is that sound guy going to be with me every time I need him or only when you are in your scenes? You see that is stupid and I prefer to just do it myself so it’s all the same! And if I use crappy lights then it matches! Not one day bad ass lights, then the next shit. IF I did that, then the film would really be shit. So just for me to do it alone to prove to myself that I can and to show others what one woman is capable of.
Now, I use these films as a resume to ensure that what I write I can deliver and still be able to do all that is needed, even if there is a low budget or no budget. There are many filmmakers that never complete their films or even some that complete them, but then never release them and for me to never have any prior experience and have such a clear vision but then the determination to finish what I start because others were depending on me and I want to deliver what I say I will!
Then for it to be so unorthodox for me to make a full feature and never a short and work with over 180 people with in a year alone and many of them thinking I would never complete it or it would come out like shit. Then to be nominated for Best Screenwriter, Best Feature Film and won Best Director is a pure achievement. Now I’m bored because I did it and now want to find investors to make my new movie Rats Eat NYC that is going to take some massive production!
Q: Anything else you might want to add?
A: For years I was a musician in punk bands, but noticed that I was only getting my message out to a very small crowd.
With cinema I can entertain worldwide from a teen or adult, a kid or a grandma and still put my music in there with a stronger message that is visual and keep your attention to listen and see what happens in the story I’m telling. I make PG13 or R rated movies so that way all can see it with no banning and take in my message.